Category Archives: Up-cycled Stuff

Skirt-Upcycling! By HEIDI EMMETT

 

by Heidi Emmett:

Upcycling is SO FUN!! If you have been hesitant to get on board with it, today I’m going to show you a great project you could start with. First we need some inspiration.

Found this on Pinterest. I LOVE the way a beautiful dressy lace was paired with denim.

For me, Going to the Thrift shop is all about the fabric. I often buy a garment JUST for the fabric. This silk printed fabric is so great next to the denim in this skirt. Notice the top stitching on the denim and how it brings the fabric and denim together.

I like how this is a wrap skirt with interesting features on the front of the skirt.

THIS IS THE ONE! My skirt is so small that opening it up and adding pieces here and there like this skirt will make mine a perfect wrap skirt.

My thrifted skirt was so small but I loved the embroidery and the ragged hem, (the embroidery is the reason I purchased it, I new it would NEVER fit me as is.

The embroidery is machine done, but great colors and design.
O.K., snip, snip, snip! I cut it open all the way at the side seam opposite the embroidery.
Don’t forget to check out my cool slip on canvas tennis shoes. OF COURSE they are leopard. Remember, I said that Leopard is hot, HOT this season (in my humble opinion, Leopard anything is hot in any season).These are by Blowfish.  And so comfy almost right away.
I needed some other pieces to add on. Found this lovely woven piece in my stash. I decided to add a piece of fleece (try The Warm Company, made in the USA)  and a batik to the back of this woven.  And when I had to fish a spool of thread out of my trash bag, I found this perfectly colored piece of wool yarn.
I quilted my fabric “sandwich” together with different colored threads in an up and back motion that would show off the pattern of the fabric.
Arranging “stuff” to see if I can use some, all, or none. This is the fun part. Not sure about what you might pick out. “Test” them out as I did, by placing everything on the background of the starting skirt. Take a few pictures and look at your items objectively, through a camera lens.
Oh yes, I want this yarn and felt it down with my machine felter (mine is a Husky Star by Huskavarna). Check my past posts on “Fun Felting” to learn more.
It’s perfect.
The back side of this felted yarn is  pretty too.

It’s getting close to being finished. Think about which side you will add your quilted fabric piece to. How wide does it really need to be,and  how much of a wrap do you want? Maybe you will want to add more pieces than just the one as I did? All questions that will need answering and remember, it’s never wrong. Add something to it or cut it off and start again. I LOVE upcycling.
Check out my off-centered (ON PURPOSE, to reduce bulk, and I like how it looks) upcycled skirt. It is truly one-of-a-kind, just the way my clothing needs to be.
Maybe, I might add something else to this skirt. But right now it’s perfect as is.
Isn’t this fun! I am pairing this skirt with a red turtleneck, dark gray leggings, and my cool leopard tennies.

Upcycling is so freeing. As I said, you can do nothing wrong. I teach the upcycling portion of my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy retreat, on the first day. It’s a great warming up exercise to get your brain to start thinking outside the box and get you ready to work on one of my “ART TO WEAR” patterns later in the week. Please visit my Etsy store: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/sewing patterns, to get an idea of the sewing patterns I sell. Next years Artistic Alchemy Retreat is Sept. 7-11th. It’s not too early to be thinking about it. All the information for our 2020 retreat comes out the beginning of February.

Fall at Pope Beach at South Shore Lake Tahoe, Oct. 2017. Notice how faaaarrrr out you can see the beach. It was the height of our drought. This year, same color in the trees, but the water comes all the way up now, within a foot or two of the railing.
An Aspen tree at waters’ edge of Zephyr Point Conference Center.
A storm is moving in to Zephyr Point in October. Foaming spray and big white caps.
Color trees are everywhere on the grounds of Zephyr Point. It is a great place to visit any time of the year (they do keep all roads on the grounds plowed when it snows), but fall is my favorite.

Thanks for stopping by and maybe check out your favorite Thrift shop this week (I love thrifting because your money goes to so many different great causes) and you find FABULOUS STUFF!! It’s a win, win!

I leave you with a quote: Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision. Hugs, Heidi

P.S. Follow me – DesignsbyHeidiEmmett on Pinterest and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Power Means, no Internet, Landline phone, Cellphone, t.v., etc. Accckk….!

Hello everyone,

Yes, I was one of the 800,000 P.G. & E. (Pacific Gas and Electric) customers to get power cut off because of high winds and fire danger.

All the above is back up and running.  I am so far behind  that I am dropping in some cool pictures from Pinterest instead of a normal post. Enjoy!

Until next Friday then…… Hugs, Heidi

Driving into downtown Nevada City, California on Monday, Oct. 7th, 2019, 5:00p.m.

Driving over one of the (3) bridges in Downtown Downieville, CA, 12:30p.m.,10/7/19. Beautiful day for a drive.

I Call it “A.Z.” and I’m Working on Stuff!

I can’t believe that Artistic Alchemy was only three weeks ago. I put too much on my “A.Z.” calendar (that’s “After Zephyr”) without realizing it. Everything relating to Artistic Alchemy is put away until another workshop and I am relaxing by working on, inbetween other things,  a NEW Art to Wear pattern AND some Fiber Jewelry.

A few pictures from the Artistic Alchemy retreat. I’m wearing my favorite new, upcycled pants, and my super favorite (have been for 2 years) and very “hot” for fall (anything leopard print), my loafers.

I LOVE, LOVE, these loafers. I was walking by a store in my little town and a woman was working on a display for the window of the store. She was up a few feet off the ground. I couldn’t tell you what she was wearing except that I zeroed in on her shoes. Rushed into the store and asked about the shoes. They had one pair left(my size), AND ON SALE TOO!
Had these pants for 4 years (size 4, yeah maybe they would have fit me when I was 4, ha, ha) before I saw a picture on Pinterest with this idea. Open up the entire side and insert a piece of (in this case stretch denim) whatever the width needed.  I serged the piece into the pants.No other finishing. Rolled the hems, left the waistband alone(as a sweater hides the raw edges at the waist).
I actually like the little flap at the top. It makes it really easy to pull them up and over “ye olde hips”.
My upcycling includes using scraps, really, small, scraps. I make bracelets.
Fabrics cut on the bias make fun bracelets too (and no strings hanging off).
Here I am showing samples of some bracelets as well assome of the  many supplies you can use.
More fiber jewelry using a headband and attaching my own polymer clay pieces to it using embroidery floss. The headband is now a necklace. Fun, fun.

Let’s take a moment and look at the view. Lake Tahoe is always stunning. (Taken at 7:17p.m. on Sept. 3rd, 2019 through a screen window, no flash of course and with my old Nikon D40).
I was experimenting at home (trying out ideas for my “Fiber jewelry” section ofmy workshop at Zephyr).  These scraps are a bit larger than some others I have used.
I was on TOP OF THE WORLD with my first EVER fabric scrap bead! Check out the globe. It’s so cute and it lights up too!
It’s a pretty sorry looking fabric bead, but HEY, it was my first one.

I have gotten much better at this whole process as you can see. My students seemed really excited about them too. Thank you ladies! What a fabulous group they were too!
I made up these bracelets myself. I cruised the isles of Home Depot and found the clear tubing. It comes in some great sizes (plumbing isle).
Here is one of my bracelets. I’m thinking for next year, devoting one whole day to creating “Fiber Jewelry.” I’d love to know what you think about that.

Some of the beautiful ribbon “yarns” that I collect to make the plastic tubing bracelets.
Yes, I collect beads too! I have LOTS of beads. You must think about coming to Zephyr Point next year ( Sept. 7th-11th, 2020) for my workshop, at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. All the information about next years workshops will come out the first part of February, 2020. I’ll keep you posted.

Have a great weekend and find some time for your creative outlet!  And wow I was outside today and heard and watched the Canadian Geese heading south. And look at how quickly the Virginia Creeper is changing. Here in Grass Valley, CA we went from 88 degrees (the high) yesterday to only 71 degrees today for the high. And rain is coming maybe tomorrow. It really feels like Fall. My favorite time of year!  Except for all the raking of leaves! It’s really funny, you plant the 5 gallon Maple tree and it’s so pretty.But you FORGET that they do grow and 30 years later, WOW! So many more leaves. And of course, we had to plant a BUNCH of Maple trees. Sigh….Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

What’s Black & White & Chartreuse?

I found a 100% linen knit top, and yes, at a Thrift Shoppe (I added the extra “p” and “e” to give it cache’ ha,ha).  The top was too short for me as is. I’m going to have some sewing fun.  Let’s Upcycle!

I love LOVE 100% linen. I wear it all summer long. Yes, it looks fabulous crisp and pressed, but “lived in” (aka, wrinkles), is my favorite. And I think it just gets better and better the more it’s washed and worn.  I have even made a set of linen sheets. Very nice.  They lasted quite a few years before they became too thin (I put my foot right through). Ha, Ha.
I looked through my scraps and found some leftover bits that I had used in another project (look up that OTHER project under past posts, called, Rectangle pieced dress) . I love black and white and one more color. This time I’m using chartreuse. Note the black and white “tubettes.”

I call them “tubettes” because as you can see they can be opened up and stitched down. Test a cotton knit or other fibered knit for stretchy-ness and the curl factor. Cut a strip in the direction of the curl.  I don’t cut any under 1 inch in width. Use your fingers to open it up and stitch it down the middle. I stitched my tubettes for added texture and shhh.. don’t tell anyone, to hide some poor stitching (it was too loose and really showed).
I tried on the top to determine where I wanted to place my pieced fabric length. Then I carefully cut the top apart (keep it in a circle shape) so I could insert the piece. Two things, if you look closely, it’s uneven on the left side. Make sure That you add a piece ( in this case I added a wedge) or cut away so that it is even all the way around. The second thing, if you are adding fabric that has words or letters make certain they are going in the right direction. Oh yea, do you hear the riiip, rip, rip, of my seam ripper. Sigh…..  Determine how much you need of the pieced fabric and sew the ends together to form a circle that matches the top (if it’s a knitted top, DON’T stretch it).

When attaching the pieces together, divide the top portion of the top into four sections (use pins to mark  the sections). Do this on the bottom portion of the top as well, AND BOTH the top and bottom of the pieced section.

If you are Serging the pieces together, just go for it. No Serger, no problem. The trick for sewing the pieces together on a home sewing machine is to make CERTAIN that the knitted fabric is underneath. It has to do with the feed dogs and how they feed the fabric through. Trust me on this one or you will be using that seam ripper again. Ha, ha.

Uh OHHHH! I broke my own rule. And it’s my number ONE rule, “Always think long and lean, think up and down with design features.” So I fixed it, sort of……
I added more “tubettes”  going in an up and down  free form design.
I really like it now.
A friend gave me the “hand made” sew in tag.  Thank you Lisa.
A word about taking pictures outside, at high noon. Don’t do it. All the blacks in the pictures are really deep black, in person.  I was taught by the Sunset photographers (of the book division of Sunset magazine of which my friend Christine Barnes worked for back in the day) to take pictures in the early morning or late afternoon. Never in overhead sun, even if you are in the shade. I couldn’t wait, my hubby was home and I needed the pics right then and there!
I think the top turned out to be a fun addition to my wardrobe.

Thanks for stopping by today. I’m putting on my Artistic Alchemy Retreat hat now to say pop on over to today’s post to read about what the four of us teachers are doing to prepare for this years retreat, September 2nd-September 6th. Carve out some creative time where you can. Hugs, Heidi

ASG-Artistic Alchemy Program and Inspiration for Your Weekend!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Last Saturday my fellow Artistic Alchemy teachers and I did a Spring program (four hours of non-stop fun! ) for the Sacramento, CA chapter of ASG (American Sewing Guild). The ASG ladies were amazing, very welcoming, and a great group to interact with.

At the ASG program, my table, ready, set, go! The Sun City Roseville, Country Club was the venue.
We were in the ballroom. What a great time we had telling everyone about Artistic Alchemy and our workshops at the retreat this Labor Day Week 9/2-9/6, 2019, giving them a fashion show of the things we create, demonstrations of many of our techniques, and goodies to buy. A “mini-retreat” really.
Inspiration for your next Upcycled denim project. I want to use some of my Kantha cloth for the bottom portion.
I think the sleeves need to be shortened a bit, don’t you?
Too fun! I want one of these.
Or maybe THIS one!  Save all your denim cut up scraps, ya’ never know where they can be used.
I think this T-shirt is so cute. I just got a great idea for a butterfly ( from an actual mixed media art piece I made) that is in a simple format like this cactus.
This looks like a fun idea. I’m not sure about the circle bit at the top. I’d like something else there I think.
Words we all need to live by. It will take practice though.
Look at this jacket closely. There are men’s shirts in it, just enough pieces to give it that Attitude Dressing, fun look! (check my Pinterest board, “Attitude Dressing” for more)
Don’t let this happen to YOU! Focus on a couple of ideas and get busy. Don’t be like me as I always seem to see lots of squirrels,&  POOF!! Weekend gone! Ha, ha, ha. I love this picture and the words that go with.  Hugs, Heidi

“Poochie.”

All I had on hand were a couple of safety pins when thinking about attaching a special collaged pet portrait to a piece of clothing, So….let’s take a look.

I already had the Donna Karan coat.

I purchased “Poochie” from Jane Haworth, a teacher at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat each fall at Lake Tahoe. Check out what Jane does, here. And Poochie hung around my house for months (I didn’t want to frame him) and then one day I had an idea, put him on a piece of clothing! I couldn’t find my pincushion to pin him on the jacket, BUT, I had a safety pin. Well, well, one thing led to another and I got together some other supplies ….            Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com 

I grabbed my Serger. I absolutely LOVE, did I say it loud enough, LOVE!! my Baby Lock Imagine. It’s the only serger on the market that “air sucks” the thread through the upper and lower loopers! Do you have any idea the time that saves?  I found mine on Ebay, used, for half the price of a new one. I couldn’t be happier. Oh dear, I spy lots of lint down low. Time to clean.

Here is my other “cool tool.” It’s called a “Crop-A-Dial.” It is a 6″ long reach hole punch, eyelet, snap and grommet setter.

The packaging might have changed (I’ve had mine about 10 years). It can punch through, paper, leather, fabric, plastic, thin tin, chipboard and more.

And bam, bam, eyelets in!
These circles would make cute earrings too! Hmm…but for now, I’m using safety pins and attaching them to more fabric .
Stitch two circles together, wrong sides together, sew they are the same on both sides. And just cut them out. You can stitch just inside the outside of the circle. But, it’s mostly on the bias so there will be very little fraying.
I serged the edges of the same fabric for a fun look.
I top-stitched them onto the cuff and added a few safety pins too.

I’m having so much fun, serging, knotting, and pinning other pieces of fabric together. It really is freeing to try new and different things. There doesn’t have to be a particular way to do anything! I used a few Marcia Derse fabrics for some of the tails.
Check out the bicycle pin made from wire and attached with, what else, a safety pin.
There are just a few touches of safety pins on the front. By the time someone says, “Wait a minute, are those safety pins on that jacket?” Well, they’ll turn around and see the back.
Poochie will really garner some attention! My husband calls the long strips below Poochie, “doggie tails.” I just call them fun.
I want to challenge YOU to find a fun way to use safety pins (Walmart carries the best safety pins for the best price). Show me what you can do. I already have a vest in mind for more safety pins. It’s the perfect watch a movie project. Ouch, don’t watch the movie too closely.

I think this is just the right amount of “stuff” to add to this simple jacket, check out my other blog posts too at: DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com
What’s in the pocket there. A little burlap bag.
If you like what you see here, please take a look here. This is just one way to upcycle  and it is just part of the workshop that I teach at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat, this Sept. When you click on (please take a look here)it will go directly to our home page. In the menu bar click on “workshops” and scroll down and read what each of us four teachers  are doing this Sept. 2nd-6th up at gorgeous Lake Tahoe .  And people, WE ARE RIGHT ON THE LAKE! We have the multi, multi-million dollar views AND we are usually the only group up there. The retreat starts on Labor Day.
I took some shots outside and discovered these sweet violets growing in the lawn. Heralding Spring.

So you saw my little burlap bag?  I’m thinking that when I wear this jacket and people are in need of a safety pin, I will carry extras in my little bag to pass around. Ha, ha.  Information on the safety pin: It was invented by Walter Hunt in 1848. Paleontologists would estimate that some form of safety pin or another had been around since the Neolithic Period. Yet somehow man had never got it right until Walter. A single factory today turns out a billion safety pins a year. WOW!  Hugs, blessings, and creative sewing time to all, Heidi

You Have To Try This!

Denim is always popular. But I am seeing even more for Spring this year. Here are a few pieces of denim that I bet you have never seen before or would ever have thought to make:

I saw these denim cuties in an Anthropologie store. What a cool way to upcycle denim scraps. 

I want all of these. Hey, I have never asked if they sell their displays. Hmm….

I love the way they added fun and flare to these denim capris  above. 

After seeing these denim pants on pinterest I knew just what I would do with a pair of denim jeans I owned but never fit. 

Yes, I bought these at my favorite store in Truckee (aka Truckee Hospice Thrift Store) because I loved the flocked denim. 

I know I could make them fit me after seeing those first two pictures above, on Pinterest. I’m testing different denims to see which one I like best. 

The other jeans were solid denim with floral inserts. I’m going to do the opposite.   What’s that song, “The first cut is the deepest…” I’m certain they didn’t mean cutting up something you love with scissors. 

Getting around a few rivets was tricky and DO NOT FORGET THEY ARE THERE!!! when you stitch in the inserts. Yowzaa, that would be bad. 

Here is the pair of denim jeans I’m using for the side inset pieces. Notice I am cutting into a back pocket. I don’t waste anything if I need the length. Seam ripper took that pocket right off. The entire pair of jeans was too small from the waist to the ankle. So I cut through the entire pair of jeans. It made it so much easier. If they are too loose at the waist afterwards, add a belt or take a dart. Too small still at the waist? Cut the insert in more of a wedge shape. 

I LOVE THEM, I CAN’T WAIT TO WEAR THEM OUT.

So sorry for the blurry pics. It is FREEZING outside and in the room I take these pics. They looked fine in a one inch square of my camera. It is snowing here in Cedar Ridge, CA by the way. Brrr…wonder how much we’re going to get?

I used my Serger to add these inserts and left the hem undone to fray out at the bottom. 

I like the cuffs turned up too. YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS!

Here’s a sneak peak of my latest OFF THE GRID VEST, still in progress. Dare I say next week you will see it posted? Gosh, it’s only been 3 weeks. I have to think of ways to keep you coming back. And, I THANK YOU for coming back! I am loving using Mary Boalt’s hand printed canvas piece. It was my starting point. You’ll see lots of pics when it’s all done. 

I love how the diamond shaped cut outs in the “Scuba fabric” are “see through”  even through the lining fabric. I think it will be worth the wait!

Here is the pattern in case you are new to my blog and wonder, What is she talking about?  The pattern is $15. + shipping. Email me: hmemmett@gmail.com for easy details on getting one of your own.

Stay warm and let me know what you are creating this weekend? Hugs, Heidi

Behind The Scenes! What Goes on At Heidi’s

I am supposed to be working on my latest “Off The Grid Vest.  I am blessed to have a beautiful high ceiling, bright natural lighting, above the garage, studio space. There is insulation but not in the floor. I went in to it for my daily bit of sewing bliss and Yowzaa, the temperature was only 43! I have a tower heater which is great but not when I walk more than a few feet away. One good thing, while up there I can layer up in my favorite Alpaca sweaters and fingerless gloves.  And they are calling for off and on snow for the next 10 days.  Hopefully, I will brave the elements long enough to FINISH this “going to be gorgeous” vest. I’ll show it off next week, fingers crossed. Oh wait, I have to take off my gloves first. 

 

I’m still working on Poochie. I found Marcia Derse fabrics are looking oh so good with what is going on. So I’m sketching up some ideas how to add in these fabrics with safety pins. Day 2 of this past week: Still too cold to stay in the attic studio very long. So I brought Poochie out into the T.V. room. I quickly ran out of safety pins. Went on line to order more.  

Quite excited, I found a box of 1200 safety pins size 1.1 inches. for only $9.79. Are you kidding me? Their idea of 1.1 inches is not the same as what my tape measure says. More like 7/8″ . I really need a much looser woven fabric for these to work. 

Had a chance to visit a Walmart yesterday. I cleaned them out of larger safety pins. Yikes, I have $25. worth of safety pins. I think I’ll have enough now. These are also better quality than my box of 1200. I think for what you get quality wise, Walmart is the best value. 

Oh, remember, I bought the cool tool for my bracelet class? See the beginnings of it on the clipboard? Black leather with real crystal beads. You REALLY need one of these Mighty Bright lights/magnifier. 

Day 3 of cold attic studio temps. So more evening movies and Taa daa. I finished my bracelet. My little antique bunny button makes it extra special. 

Yes, I have the world’s smartest cat. I couldn’t grab the camera fast enough for the best shot (paws crossed and really looking full on at the market reports). But this shot is o.k. too.Don’t forget to visit our site to read the latest on our 6th annual retreat. We are getting signups already. My workshop is full of all things upcycling, creative stitching for your Designs by Heidi pattern that you have always wanted to make, AND some cool fiber jewelry.

Day 4 of cold temps: I moved my tubs of Upcycling pieces of clothing (for cutting up or repurpusing ) out of the attic for some serious sorting/purging. I need to empty some of these bins. I cannot stack them any higher in the attic. Only buy clearish bins so at least you can look at them with some idea of what’s in each one. “I spy” an empty bin in the upper right hand corner.  

Day 5 of cold temps: I’d had it. I needed to get out of town. I drove 40 minutes to my nearest Stein Mart for inspiration (on what’s in for Spring and I always check the sale tables for cool fabrics (yes, I mainly buy at the Thrift Stores & regular stores, garments that I cut apart for the fabric).$19.92 was the rock bottom price on this pair of white pants. But WAIT! She checked, and YES, down to $4.92. These are not just ANY pair of white pants. Read on..

Pretty wild and crazy aren’t they? The lady behind me said, that one would need a lot of courage to wear those in public.  Then I told her my plans for just the appliques and she said “Really? I could do that? Are there any more back there?” (Sadly, no, and if there had been, I would have snapped those up too. Ohh, I’m so bad!). So stay tuned to find out just what I do with these colorful appliques. 

Day 6, sigh, 43 again this morning (I haven’t been in there all day): Seam ripper is ready, Hallmark Murder Mystery saved on the T.V. I will have all these off in no time(Yes, they were all stitched down by machine, easy peasy to get off). 

The snowflakes are flying again! We’ll see how much we get with this storm! A great weekend to Make it Up, Make it Fun, and Get it Done! Hugs, Heidi

Marcia Derse 2018 Fall Collection- What Will I do With It?

by Heidi Emmett

Here I am at the Marcia Derse booth at Quilt Market. I arrived at the precise moment she finished her little talk on her newest line of fabrics, “Art History:101″ So sad to miss it. But I was able to score 5″ squares of all 26 of her Art History collection. And later on, I was able to get one panel of the black(on the back wall to the left). Today, I’m going to focus on those 5” squares.

Here they all are, out flat, and sort of lined up. There are two more, but I forgot them as I had them set aside. You’ll see them later. 

As with ANY collection of ANY designer, all the fabrics are meant to go together (this is to encourage us to buy more, not a problem for me).  Marcia’s fabric collections are so unique and visual, each piece a little gem. And I have found, as my collection  grows, each collection works with all her other previous groupings. Love that. I see a squirrel, and must follow it. After visiting for a few minutes with Marcia, I said goodbye and walked around the corner. I noticed the back of this ladies jacket. It’s a beautiful “little” modern quilt. I like that idea, so of course, I needed a picture. The must do this someday is now  on record. O.K., I’m back.

“Upcycling” is a big part of my workshop for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point this September 3rd-7th.  There are just a few places left, so if you are thinking about it, now is the time. Below is just “touching the surface” for upcycling of a favorite top.  Yes, this is a great top as is, but I had to have a spark of color.

Sew, I took some random (truly, TRULY, don’t over think it, be brave, just pick!) pieces from that 5″ stack. I cut some into smaller pieces and pressed the edges under a tiny bit all the way around each piece. I always try to cut long and lean looking. The exception for ME is I want the “illusion” of a bust, hence a full 5″ square and sideways rectangle in the upper area. Hey, no laughing, it’s worth a try.

Here’s what I ended up with for the top, left section. 

I hate pins and poking, so it’s Elmer’s glue for me to hold the piece in place. I run a very small bead (and smear it) in the center of wrong side, about the size of a quarter. That’s it. One bit of glue on each piece. Let dry and edge stitch in place. 

Below is what NOT to do. And of course it’s the first one I sewed done and smack dab in the front. I will remove the stitches and redo, but of course, I have a deadline. Good for you all to see that I’m not perfect. Ha, ha, ha.

I love, love, LOVE my new top. And the bleached out sections, while I did not do these on this store bought top, I have done it and will give you some do’s and don’t in the workshop (we wont actually do it though, not enough time).  I leave you with pictures of my Golden Chain Tree. It was the prettiest season EVER for this very s-l-o-w growing tree.

Have a great sewing weekend. Hugs, Heidi  P.S. Whatever site you view THIS particular post on, Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com, OR, Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  you will see the same post on both (I need more sewing time!)

Cruising Pinterest and I Found This!

Something new for Coach. I was intrigued. Hey, I’ve been doing something similar for quite a few years! Let’s take a closer look. These bags range in price from $375-$495.  These are by  Keith Haring.

Each bag/purse has applique’s AND some simply stitched fabric pieces on it! We can do this on our own Coach’s. Wait a minute, I DID do that! I was ahead of the curve on this. Keep looking. 

Many Coach bags have split leather on the bottoms. They get dirty fast and look, not so nice. The bags below, I scored while Thrifting. I took them home and cleaned the smooth leather and scrubbed the split leather and canvas portion (yes, I used a soft scrub brush with cool, sudsy water). The split leather darkened a bit (because of the washing) but still looked dirty. So I covered it up. And I love the results. Yes, I showed it last year but after seeing the above NEW coach collection, I had to bring them out again. Besides, mine are perfect for spring.

Quilted some Kaffe Fassett fabric first, and cut out and stitched it to fit. I used Fabric Tac Glue (This stuff REALLY holds nicely). Here are the beginnings of my second Coach “upcycling.”

Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

The colors in the yo-yo’s reminds me of the little Pansy’s STILL blooming at my kitchen sink. I have had this one and kept it alive! since the end of January. 

A cozy day for Rex, sleeping by the fire. We had a dusting of snow a few days back. 

And for Rubix too. 

Packaging materials I arranged because I liked what the shadows and their natural shapes created. I’ll file these pictures into my “ideas for ???” folder. 

On the sunny days I took some pictures. I loved the play of light and color. 

This one kinda looks like it’s floating. I like that too. I’ll file these in the same folder as my paper designs. 

My mom has always said that it isn’t Spring in Nevada County, CA until the snow falls on the Daffodils. 

She’s right. And for the next 5 + days, it will be in the low 70’s! The ground is too wet to garden( I think it is), sew I will be stitching and felting and upcycling this weekend for the “boutique” section of the Pine Tree Quilt Show in Grass Valley, CA the first weekend in May. Make it up, make it fun, and GET IT DONE! Hugs, Heidi

P.S. Don’t forget to pop over to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  to see what the four of us teachers have planned for this years, 5th annual creative retreat. We’d love to see YOU there!

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Check This Out! From these to THESE!!

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I used to design and create cool projects for Stitch magazine. It was really fun. The magazine is gone now but I bet you can find copies on Ebay or Etsy.  Spring/Fall leaves was one of my projects. It is such a versatile,easy peasy idea.

That’s my project in the upper left corner of the picture below. 

And here it is again as seen in the magazine. I also did a lovely summer version, two completely different projects (for their Stitch summer E-book).

I used Alison Glass cotton batiks and for the center portion, a batik type muslin by Marcus Brothers. 

Here I mixed silk shantung with glorious Alison Glass cotton batiks. Love this. 

Here is the first “summer” version I sent them. These fabrics are all Marcia Derse fabrics. Our sweet rescue dog, Sparky. We miss him so…16 1/2 years we had him. 

Second summer version shown here is the one they chose. 

Close ups. I think by looking at the next few pictures, you will be able to figure out this project. I do tell you how in a past post (that I forgot to categorize, acck). Sometime in the Fall of 2015.  I’ll tell you next week I promise, no time today to search. These leaves are like the Lays potato chip slogan.  Except, I say, “You can’t make just one!” Addictive!

Another hint, batiked fabrics (like below) are more tightly woven so there is automatically less raveling (perfect for raw edged designs), and have no right or wrong side, although one side typically looks a teeny tiny bit lighter. 

Well,we now come to the part where the title of this weeks blog comes into play: From the projects above to the projects below.  I decided it was time to use my leftover leaves and this is what I came up with. LOVE these Kimonos now. I keyed off the linings of the two of them. See below.

The lining of this Kimono is a beautiful leaf printed silk(whoops forgot to take a picture). The leaves are purposely off-set, because they are hand cut, they will never match, and I really don’t want them too. I had to take pictures of this one in place but not sewn. Phew, I beat the rain!

Also, I’m part of a great group of “Art to Wear” fiber artists and we are having a “Pop Up” Sale at 485, 12 Bridges Drive,Lincoln, CA. It runs from 1:00p.m.-5:00p.m.  Clothing/accessories/jewelry, so many beautiful items. Maybe we’ll see you there !! Hugs, Heidi

 

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Let’s Machine Felt and Throw In a Little Quilting too!

We finally got some winter around here in Cedar Ridge (that white stuff, called SNOW! Yippee). So of course, I need to work with yarn. I have had this beautiful extra thick and soft Cashmere sweater (thrift score!) for the longest time. And now with the colder weather I want to add some pizzazz and WEAR IT!

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Auditioning fabric and yarn. These are perfect. I used the “Fibs & Fables” by Westminster Fabrics and found yarn to go with it. 

I talk more about my felting machine, how it works, yarns, ideas, fibers you can use, etc., in other posts. Visit the home page and check the categories on the side (look for fun felting and upcycling).

I pulled some yarn right off the ball of yarn, positioned it into a circle onto one of the bell sleeves.

My “glue” of choice is a piece of regular netting, NOT tulle netting. I just place it right over the circle of yarn and push it all under the 5 needles (they are inside the protective cover). Whirrr…….whirrr…..whirr….I just LOVE this little magical machine. Remove the netting and voila’

Here are a few more “felties”, that’s what I call them, off one skein of yarn. 

Wait. I have to tell you about a very cool tool I just discovered. It is called a “Gleener.” It has three different edges to take fuzzies off of wool, acrylic, polyester, and fine fabrics. And has a velvet lint brush on the back and it’s own little carrying case with instructions.

Two of the blades sit inside and the third one is on the outside edge, ready to use. In one word, “AMAZING.”

I think I’m done with this bell sleeve edge. There are felties all the way around. Took maybe 20 minutes for one sleeve. Pretty sweet, right? 

I have to have a kangaroo pocket. Adds tremendous cozy factor in my opinion. Before attaching the pocket to the sweater, I have to do a little quilting on my regular sewing machine. Attach a darning foot (I like open toed so I can see better), lower the feed dogs, and start outlining or doodling across the sandwich of lining/batting/fashion fabric. I have also pre-sewn the sandwich together, right sides together, turned through a 5″+ opening and pressed. Back to the stitching process. Whaaat fun. Very relaxing, just like adding the felties. 

After pinning the kangaroo pocket to the sweater front, I got a cool idea. Look for the flower headed pins (one orange and one yellow).  Follow the faint white (chalk) line from the orange pin head down to the center of the pocket. Another yellow pin running horizontally. Stitch in a “V” formation through all thicknesses. Also, through all thicknesses, at the top of the pocket and leave the middle section of the pocket open (still talking about the top. Sew all the way across the bottom edge.  DO NOT stitchthe short ends (like I did, oh, Heidi, Heidi). I need a place to put my hands. Silly me.

Sew I stitched down the pocket and now I need to add some felties around the pocket and around the lower back. But first a cuppa in my special open cup to savor the rich coffee smell. I set it down and looked at it and remembered something very special to me. 

I remembered my Grandma Castleberg (my mother’s mother) and a friend of hers (a photography student) wanting to take a Black and White study of Grandma for a class project. And here it is. I love this picture and will treasure it always. I feel that I get my extra dose of creativity from my my Aunt Rose on my father’s side. I’ll share that story another time. 

Back to felties. It’s done! Check out the “V” pocket idea I had. I like it. 

I received these violas from a friend. What a great idea to brighten someones day. Buy a tiny clay pot (this one is 3 1/2″) and gently place a Viola (from a pony-pack) inside the clay pot. It has to be placed somewhere close by for the maximum happy quotient. Also, you’ll remember to check it every day for a possible drink of water.  Mine sits on the edge of my kitchen sink. Who will you pick to brighten their day with this simple idea? Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy Have a “Make it Up, Make it Fun, Get it Done” weekend! Hugs, Heidi

Denim Daze!

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In case you didn’t know, I love to upcycle or repurpose  garments. Today it’s denim! I was on PInterest at 6:00a.m. today and denim things just kept popping up. Let’s look at some of my latest “pins” and then I’ll show you two of my own easy, peasy, projects. Aren’t the totes below, cute. While you’re thrifting, look for purses/totes that have handles you can reuse.

I like the way this vest uses several different denim colors to create a really distinctive look.

I love, love, LOVE this denim coat. Don’t use too heavy of denim pieces or you will never want to wear it. 

Great use of jean pockets. 

A super creative use of denim and belts. 

A very creative way to lengthen a top and use light weight denim. I believe they started with a denim shirt. 

A very fun way to use bits of denim and some favorite dress fabrics. 

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Below are two projects. The bottom piece is a duvet cover, designed and created by Christine Barnes for a Sunset Book, project. Look for a copy of this book, Reinvent Series, Kid’s Rooms, by Christine Barnes for Sunset Books. You can find them on Ebay. This Duvet cover is one of the great quilting projects in the book. Today, though,  I will show you the pillow project that I designed (sitting on the duvet cover).  

I call the pillows “Rods and Reels”, because the design on the front reminds me of a rod & reel that you fish with. This was a “denim” issue that included my “vintage” denim pillow project. I enjoyed designing projects for Stitch and wouldn’t ya know it,  Interweave dropped the magazine. You might be able to find back issues on Ebay. 

I used all Kaffe Fassett striped fabrics. Yummy colors. I pre-stitched some denim pieces WRONG sides together and zig-zagged the seams open. Then I washed and dried the pieces so the white area would fringe some more. 

Terial Magic sprayed on all the striped fabrics really helped in the sewing process. Check it out at Terialmagic.com 

Laying out the rods and reels

I am using basting glue for this project. While it is a wonderful product, it is a bear for me  to get out of the tube. I have constant clogging issues. Sew, I have now started using good ol’ Elmer’s school glue. My hands don’t ache anymore. 

I put on my open-toed darning foot, lower the feed dogs, and have fun!

Below is my version of denim catch-all containers. 

Cut up the legs of a men’s pair of regular legged jeans(I have bins for legs, bins for waistbands, bins for pockets, ackk, I’m “binned out”).

Then I went to the shortsleeved shirt bin, sigh, it’s a disease, but I AM EMBRACING IT! Notice that the sleeve fit perfectly onto the leg piece. I did stitch out the fullness of the sleeve at the under arm portion   

I call the these “mock box pleats.” Make certain that they are of equal distance on both sides. 

Whirrrr…..stitching around the top edge. The hemmed edge of the shirt sleeve is turned to the right side of the container. Done!

A winterscape at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, Nevada side.  This is where we will hold our 5th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat. Aren’t you glad we will be there September 3rd-7th instead? Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy    Tap on the Artistic Alchemy icon for more

What is that white thing on the end of the dock? 

We went in for a closer look. My whole side of the family was up at Zephyr Point a few years back. The “thing” on the dock is a  snow sculpture made by a nephew. Here I am with hubby, and son.   Brrrrrr…..  it was really cold but we all had a great time!

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Stay cozy this weekend. A perfect time for some handwork. It feels like crochet time, embroidery, polymer, knitting, fiber jewelry time. Accckkk! By the time I decide, the snow (that’s expected) will have melted. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcycles, Free Pattern offer, Inspiration, & Studio Sale!

So much to talk about, let’s do this. Snow first. It was truly magical. 4 ” (of course I measured) of the lightest, fluffiest, squeakiest  (when I walked in it), snow. 

It happened last night, January 25th, 2018

I want to, from time to time put some of my treasured items from my Studio up for sale. I call it my “Studio Sale.” Find out much more on Monday, January 29th, 2018, I’ll send out a post. 

Inspiration and upcycling in one picture. I think this is really fun and different.  I need to try this.

Maybe not all the ruffles but an ingenious way to use a favorite pair of embroidered jeans. Cut off the legs, open one up and add whatever collage you want. See the faint triangle line on the ruffles portion below? 

You know how much I love circles. Besides all the bias edge of a circle and none to very little raveling, they can be used oh so many ways. Here they are on a t-shirt. 

A few super simple upcycling ideas. I bought this top for the copius amount of fabric. But then I tried it on…..I think I want to wear it instead of cutting it up. But it’s so loose in the neck area. It is a 1X and I wear an 8-10. 

It could not be easier. Pinch it whatever amount you need on one side of the neck (can’t do too much or it will look silly) and add a favorite pin. Off- set the pinch for an asymmetric look.

I’ve seen these many times on Pinterest. You can buy one for $26.99. I think this is a terrific idea. I own so many tops that seem just a little too short for the “look” I’m after. 

Check out this weeks version (I have more coming. They are in a pile to be sewn) I started with a mini -skirt made of stretchy tiers. This one was made for someone REALLY tiny. The waist was o.k. but the hips, uhhh….not so much. How do you like my fluffy backdrop? I was too lazy to run upstairs to my studio for the white board background. This backdrop is a pillow off the couch.  I kinda like it, Ethereal looking?

I found the center back, slit it up to the waistband and inserted a triangle piece of stretch lace (from a lace t-shirt). I even have a scalloped border. 

I like the fact that depending on the over-top, I can wear the lace bit in the front, or switch it to the back. A sharper image of the “under-skirt” below and guess who else? Rubix. 

FREE PATTERN!! No strings attached. Click on the Craftsy icon below and visit my “Art to Wear” pattern line  on Craftsy.com. Look under patterns/sewing/Designs by Heidi.  When I had my fabric store, this timeless 3 tiered skirt pattern was one of my best sellers. While there are many tiered skirt patterns out there, besides this one being free, there was much thought put into exactly where the tiers would hit on many body types. Enjoy!

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The rose below is really inspiring to me. To start your own collection of inspiring pictures, go to Pinterest and do these things:  1. Follow Designs by Heidi 2. Look at some of my boards. 3. Find an interesting pin and email it to yourself. 4. Open that picture and add it to a specific folder (I labeled mine “Downloads”).

Oh, I just love those circles, don’t I. 

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.                                    A quote by  Roxanne of Roxanne’s Wish & A Dream (a quilt shop in Carpenteria, CA , an area that has gone through fires & mudslides). Visit her site: Roxanne’s A Wish & A Dream.com    Take care everyone and find time for some new creativity for yourself this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

Get Cozy and Rest Awhile Before The Fire…

Yesterday was the perfect day to stay indoors. Here in Cedar Ridge, CA , we received 6 inches of rain yesterday.  On days like that, I have go to “Cozy Clothes.”  Below is what I picked. I made this pullover hoody with kangaroo pockets in 1989!! Yes, 1989. I had Heidi’s Fabrics then and I could not keep PolarTec in stock during the fall and winter. “Polar Fleece” fabrics were created by Malden Mills out of Massachusetts. They are the company that started the Fleece craze. They had the BEST quality fleece on the market. At least 4 weights, 6 types, stunning prints, solids, and never EVER pilled. So sad, the mill burned to the ground in 1995 and as so many textile mills in the USA, gone for good. 

I used a Kwik Sew pattern. Oh my gosh, I just added up the years, and I have kept it for 28 years! It has truly been my “go to” cozy, comfy, feel better, pullover. All the other cozy clothes I own, and I keep pulling out this one.Who knew?  I’m certain that YOU own some cozy clothes too. Look at new piece with the eye to, “Can I upcycle this garment (make certain to use and Extra Large and Roomy for the best “Cozy” factor) to make it your new go to Cozy piece?

Found one!  Ha, ha,in fact,  I’m WEARING it as I write my post today. I found a Tommy Bahama, mens X LG , super quality French terry- like, cotton knit.  

Most important for me, a kangaroo pocket. I used Marcia Derse fabrics and used a super light weight batting (to show off the quilting), small amounts of all my fav’s so I can wear any color turtle neck underneath. I purposely lined the simple rectangle pocket (take a pattern from one you already have) with muslin, and wanted it to show as I am rolling up the sleeves. I stitched the K.P. down the middle and a few inches up the side openings so my kleenex or whatever, won’t fall out.

I added extra little pieces here and there, one on the back, and one on the front, to tie the whole thing together.

I’m feeling so cozy right now, excuse me while I go make a cup of coffee and have a piece of pumpkin pie. Be right back……

Ohh THAT was yummy. Since I spoke about Marcia Derse fabrics (check out her website or go to Ebay for older prints), I want you to see the Terrific Tabard vest I made out of this panel fabric, one of the few panels she has created. 

 

Email me: hmemmett@gmail.com if you are interested in purchasing this Art to Wear vest sewing pattern. I will mail it to you for $16.00 (includes tax and shipping).

Fall is my FAVORITE time of year. Yes, my weekly blog post would not be complete without a few more pics. Below is a Norway Maple leaf. This leaf was confused. Norway maples tend to go “gold” for fall. This year branches upon branches have some leaves that were red.

The beginnings of my fall set up on my front steps. Can you spy the fake pumpkin? There is one in this picture. In fact, when Thanksgiving gives way to Christmas, and “fake” pumpkins go on sale, I buy. I mix them in with the real deal to make for a stunning (in my humble opinion, ha, ha) display. With the real pumpkins, no matter how hard I try to pick the best, I will have a casualty now and then. Pumpkin mush is a mess to clean off  brick steps. I spy the fake pumpkin, it’s the little white one. I used a felt pen to make a more realistic stem. Isn’t the red orange pumpkin gorgeous? These are called “heirloom pumpkins.”

Chinese lanterns picked at their peak. Will add these to my Thanksgiving table. 

Red maple. 

Another Red maple with sunlight coming from the back. Stunning!

This is one of my Burning Bushes. The color is just getting started. Love my Armillary. It must always point north. 

Dogwood at 5:00p.m. Such rich, saturated color. 

O.K., my husband thought I was losing it when I called him to lunch a few weeks back. I think my leaf  “table cloth”is quite inventive, thank you very much. 

The salad is, Baby spinach, Pear slices (Bartlett), shaved Parmesan, cranberries and nuts, with a pinch of Hawaiian Deep Sea salt, and a drizzle of CA  lemon infused olive oil. For crunch,  I added crushed tortilla chips.  Total yumminess. The other is an Amy’s frozen (yes, when I’m in a hurry) Mexican lasagna. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Don’t forget to go to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  It’s my turn this week. Much the same as here but a few twists. Go do something creative, paint, arrange pumpkins, whatever gets you excited to finish your latest sewing project. Big hugs, Heidi

This and That for Friday…………

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It’s Friday, and this week I some “This and That.” I’m trying hard to finish some summer projects and use them, wear them, before summer is over. Calypso Vest, it really works all four seasons, is one of these projects. Fabric Chicks in Minden, Nevada sells my patterns like CRAZY!! Thank you Beth. She is the only person I will sew for. She gave me fabric to make a store sample waaay back in March. Yikes. It’s coming Beth.

Don’t forget, you can buy my pattern collection at Etsy (hard copies) or Craftsy.com (pdf files to download on your printer), just click on the appropriate icon above,  or email me and I can send you what you want: hmemmett@gmail.com

These are the fabrics that Beth gave me for the sample of Calypso Vest. These are so beautiful. All are by Tim Holtz. 99% of these fabrics are used on the bias. I will do some careful planning so I will have some special chunks for the collaged back. 

Here is Calypso out flat so you can see a full view. I call this one, “Starry Night.” Look at all the Kaffe Fassett fabrics I used. 

I need to do an update on my upcycled Coach bag. 

Remember, I covered all the split suede leather portions with Kaffe Fassett fabric yo-yos. Well, I have to admit, I had only glued on a couple of yo-yos and took a couple of pictures for the post. I was having the worst time with my Fabric Tac glue. I could not get it to come out in a nice stream, let alone dribbles. I tried everything, cleaned out the tip with a pin, checked inside the tip. I was really questioning my strength training (well, I admit, I had been really remiss of late on my exercises). I would squeeze that bottle sooo hard, I was out of breath. 

I FINALLY figured out the problem. Don’t laugh too hard when you read this. See that little circle by the glue bottle?

I took a shot this way because I want you to see that the little circle piece sits on top of the hole where the glue is stored. Whaaatt??!!  I should have removed that? Really? No, Heidi, instead, cut the tip shorter.  I did not see this little cover until a few days ago. 

All right, you can stop laughing now! OMG, “If I Only Had a Brain!” (Cue the Wizard of OZ music). 

Finished in record time. And I am happy to say that my Free Weight workouts have resumed.  But, the brain drain part, not sure how to fix that. Hmm…..

Did I ever tell you that I save clothes or buy clothes (at the Thrift store) just for the gorgeous fabrics? Well I do. The top below (from a real store) I loved. It was dyed to look like clouds in the sky. I wanted it to last and last so I NEVER put it in the dryer. Except this one time. Shrunk it did. Determined to wear it, I cut off the ribbing on the neck and whacked off some of the sleeves. 

I have worn it this way ever since and I love how it curls a bit now. I mean, if jeans being ripped up is still the rage, I’m right there. Forget about hems and carefully stitched necklines. Whack away, it’s very freeing!

I LOVE my Bernie Mev’s. There are many knock off’s out there too. The real deal are so comfortable. I own so many pairs of shoes I can never wear them out. BUT, because Bernie Mev’s are made mostly of elastic, I have found that the elastic does lose its’ umph….(there is rubber in elastic and when exposed to air it begins to deteriorate). So check out how I fixed mine (one more season’s use).  

I pulled up the elastic on the heel piece and stitched it down. Yes, I actually sewed it on my machine. 

I pinched it tighter on the instep strap and stitched it by hand (too weird of an angle for me to get under the machine). Yeahhhh! Did I say how much I LOVE my Bernie Mev’s? And now they have a design feature that I invented.

I enjoyed Maui so much, and wish I was there. The air so clear and clean (no smoke from fires), The breezes by the beach (not hot like here for the past 1 1/2 months).

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Thanks so much for stopping by. Happy sewing, and stay cool and God’s speed to all who are in the path of Hurricane Harvey.  Hugs, Heidi

“Off The Cuff”

One of the projects that Gayle showed us at our “Sewing Sistas” retreat started with a sweatshirt. She got the idea from a visiting teacher (tracking down her name) at another event. I love, love, LOVE this project. If you can sew a straight seam, you too can make one of these. My husband named this pullover for me, “Off The Cuff.” You will see why soon. Commercial break first.

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Yes, my newest thing is my Etsy shop. Look for the name, “Designs by Heidi Emmett.” All my hard copy patterns and my new book (selling really well, thanks to all of you!) are available there.

Alright, let’s get started. Find a preferably plain sweatshirt. Yes, this men’s XXL is the exact color I wanted. The fish, hmm…we’ll see. Buy the sweatshirt larger than you normally wear.Big and loose is the look we are going for. Remember big and loose on top, tighter fitting on the bottom. Baggy tops and bottoms are not a good look for anyone.

I thought I had taken pictures of this project while at the retreat, but I didn’t, so I did it from memory improvising here and there. So it’s safe to say, you just CAN’T mess this up! Begin by NEATLY cutting off the neck, cuffs, and bottom ribbing. Notice that I cut beyond the stitching line of each piece, right into the sweatshirt itself, beyond the stitching. After the sweatshirt is complete you will throw it into the washer and dryer and some of the edges will roll or curl a little. You want that curled look. 

Step 2. Look at the cuff above and the pile of “string” below. Cut ONLY the ribbing off of each piece, EXCEPT the neck. Set the ribbing aside. The circle of “string” just below is from the bottom ribbing. Leave the neck and cuff pieces in circles. That FISH!! Hmm…still thinking…

For the back,If you have a tank top that you can cut up, great. I did not. I used a white mock turtleneck (had a hole in the sleeve) and took a tank top that I had (as a pattern) and cut out a piece. I left the hem on. 

Ah ha!! Great idea to hide that FISH! I covered it up with a pocket placed at an angle. 

I love “text” fabrics. The pocket measures about 6 x 9″ and I stitched down 3 sides (one long end is open). It has become a secret pocket. 

I stitched the white “tank” cut out onto the back , along on the edges. I remember a circle of hand stitching on the back. What to use, salad plate or soup bowl? 

The pen reads, “Fine Point Disappearing Ink Pen.” Works beautifully. Never, EVER, put one in your purse and write a check with it, like a customer at my store did. Ha, ha. Good thing she was a local. Even the bank had a good laugh. 

Three strands of a taupe colored embroidery floss, and two rows of stitching. Nice. 

The unveiling of “Off The Cuff.” Whoops, I forgot to tell you to stitch down the circles after weaving in the strip cut off of the bottom ribbing. Leave the neck edge alone as well as the bottom edge. Roll up the sleeves.

This is the most freeing project you will make! There are no mistakes, just new possibilities. I had so much fun that I promptly went to the thrift shop the next day and yes, found (some)  sweatshirts in the men’s section. O.K., O.K., I found six, but my husband snagged two of them. Give it a try, and a HUGE thank you to Gayle for this fab, fun, Off the Cuff, super creative idea. Oh, I almost forgot, I wore mine the very next day, went to three events, and got mobbed at each one because they all loved my Off the Cuff. I can’t wait to see what you make with your sweatshirt. I leave you with flowers of Spring. Enjoy your creative weekend. Take time for deep breathing. It’s a great stress reliever. Hugs, Heidi  

These are right out of the wrap from the florist. Don’t forget to check out my workshop, “Pick a Pattern” at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat. Go to: Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com for all the details (at home page, tap on Workshops). I’d love to have you join the fun!

Snap, snap. This one with the sun behind the tulip. These colors are so yummy. 

Rubix came up for a sniff just as I snapped this one. I had to include it too. 

 

 

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Mini-Me-Vacation, Part 2!

Sew many ideas and sew little time! Four days wasn’t enough. Below, it’s a family affair. Two daughters, Wynn on the left, Alex on the right and mom, Helen.These three were always busy, busy and they got projects DONE!!

We took this picture at the last moment on Thursday morning. Several had already left.  The amount of talent, generosity of sharing what they know, enthusiasm, and just plain fun to be around, that these beautiful women had was simply amazing.  I made so MANY new friends. 

Two racks of clothes to copy off the patterns if we wanted to. What great creations to check out. Did we bring enough bridal runner cloth to use for copying (great idea by the way)?

We all had our own sewing areas but were all in the same well lit,huge, room together.Check out Victoria’s shoes (in the middle). I want a pair of those.

Another great idea, the Ikea lights on giant clamps, on Mary’s and Patty’s machines. I have one too but it sits on the table. BEST direct lighting ever! I can work at night on black fabric with one of these puppies. $12.99-$14.99 range.

Mary is so smart. She brings everything but the kitchen sink to work with and puts it in this tiered cabinet. She has been enough times to know NOT to bring lots of little boxes. 

Cutting tables, nice and high, JUST for tracing, and cutting out projects. How nice not to have to clear an area somewhere (like I do at home). At home, a flat surface is for covering up with myriad projects, and the like. 

The FREE and Buy it table. New things were added several times each day! Every thing from fabric (all types) patterns, yarn, books. Toooo much fun! I’ll show you in the months to come what I gleaned from this magical, ever changing table. 

Kari’s  fabulous top in an “Alabama Chanin” style. Two t-shirts put together with Sashiko stitching.  A little painting, cutting, and stitching and voila’ !  Of course, as soon as I got home, I purchased two t-shirts to try this technique myself. Her underneath olive colored shirt barely shows above the collar of the black shirt.

Every day we had a show and tell.  Very cool things. These talented women really think outside the box. I loved this part so much, as the creative juices were really flowing in and through all of us. Terry (on the left) is wearing her own “Meiko Minsk” styled vest using a purchased piece of Kantha Cloth. Gayle looks like she is wearing some Merimekko fabric. Love the bold design. 

Below, Gayle and Helen are showing off their super cool Jean jackets. I will talk more in another post about this project that I want to make too. Acckk! Didn’t I say sew much to do and sew little time!

 

Look what Victoria gave me. She also brought, besides clothing projects, her latest quilting idea. Whaaat!!?? I could have brought quilting projects too? I put this square on a black table just to show it off. Victoria laughed at me and said, “It’s just a block Heidi (Log Cabin to be exact).” It’s the design, the fabrics, and colors she used. The black and gray print is a Valori Wells fabric.  Very modern, hmm..where is my sketch pad? 

Then, Mary brought her way cool fabric, so soft and drapey. Whaaat!!?? you PRINTED this yourself? Well, of course she did, and I should have known (she is one of our teachers at the Annual Artistic Alchemy retreat this Sept.)Go to: Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  to learn more. A fun time on Lake Tahoe. 

Terry is trying on what Mary made out of her fabulous printed fabric. It is a very fun, cozy sweater/coat with a built- in collar.  Contact Mary Boalt at  Squeakypieces@gmail.com  She will get you an email address of Jenny,  the woman who will draw up a pattern for you too for $25. It is such a designer look. 

The back…

And three lovely models wearing three different fabrics in the same pattern. Helen (in the middle) made hers using 3 1/2 yds worth of cut up t-shirts. She made it in just a few hours. Really!! We all saw it. Heidi was still deciding, cut something out, sew something, I brought, hmm..how about using my felting machine, oh, wait, I could trace the pattern for the cute dress Mary is wearing right now, aaccckk! What to do, what to do.  

Here’s the cute dress I was telling you about, that Mary let us all trace patterns from.

Helen is busy at work helping Roxanne with her very own Jean jacket.

Here is Roxanne working with Helen. Several ladies watched a video on the whole project. A Dremel is also involved in this project. Really! Terry showed us. Another post, another post…..Are you feeling it too? Sensory overload! I need to take another walk and breathe. 

Thank you one and all for joining me today. Much more to show you. In a later post. Happy Easter to everyone. Talk again soon!  Hugs, Heidi

My “Mini-Me-Vacation”—Part One!

I have been home one week from my “Sewing Sistas” Retreat held at the St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista, CA. I had such a wonderful time with my Sewing Sistas. I have never been to anything like this. I am so overwhelmed (in a good way!) that I am dividing it up. Part one consists of the Flora on the grounds. I took walks everyday and at different times of the day. The natural lighting was fabulous.

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What a peaceful, beautiful place. Enjoy the pictures. Below is the chapel on the grounds.

 

This picture, we are looking up the hill toward the dining and conference room areas. Aren’t the fuchsia colored flowering trees gorgeous. These are native to CA, called Red Bud. They grow well (but slowly) from Sea level to 3000ft. 

African Daisies. Taken at 9:00a.m. I like the shadows. There’s that Fuschia color again. 

Here they are in white. 

All the water droplets are from a gentle rain the night before. Look at the difference in color on the back of the petals. 

Scabiosis, also known as “Pincushion” flower. Perfectly named as these flowers surrounded the fountain that the Sewing Sistas walked around while carrying our myriad sewing supplies (would you believe I had 1/2 of a king cab truck, a TRUCK!, filled with my sewing paraphernalia )and Kari, my sewing friend who drove us there had the other half. Oh, the little black dots are ants. 

The grape vines are just starting to leaf out (in the foreground). California wine grapes love the central valley and coastal areas. 

Eucalyptus trees, so many species abound along the coast and into the valleys. I love the way the bark peels off every year (there is some left in the branch crevices). The colors of the bark are amazing. A great color palette for any project you have in mind. Google that.

One of many vistas. Old, old, oak trees dot the hill sides that slope gently to the valley below. The hills in the background are toward the east. The San Luis Rey Reservoir is just past the tallest peak. It’s FULL!! The first time in 6 years. The drought is really over.  

Stunning, massive, solid, strong, just a few descriptive words for these oak trees. 

All of us who live up north in California (near Lake Tahoe four of us) commented that we could not believe there were so many beautiful shades of green. After taking the oak tree picture above, I looked down at my feet and just look at the lush grass and beautifully striped leaves of a spent fuchsia colored Thistle.

We were told this small lake on the property had been dry for quite a few years until this past winter. 

One large cluster of lilies at one end of the lake.

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Look what arrived while I was gone! All my lovely projects came home. Now I can show people the projects with my new book. I am so excited to hear that Fashioned Quilted Accessories is selling well. Buy it on Amazon and if you are so inclined, leave a comment to help boost my number up some notches from the bottom! Ha, ha. Hugs to you for that. 

I hope my flora pictures will inspire you to pull out some fresh colors of spring fabrics and stitch up something that makes you happy. Until next Friday, Hugs from Heidi